It was six goals for Tottenham in a very comfortable win over an understrength Glasgow Celtic team in their fourth pre-season friendly which was played in Helsinki.
Glasgow Celtic 1 Tottenham Hotspur 6
Scorers: McGeouch Kane, Soldado, Holtby, Lamela, Eriksen, Adebayor (pen)
Team: Friedel, Naughton, Dawson, Kaboul, Davies, Capoue, Mason, Holtby, Kane, Townsend, Soldado
Subs: McGee, Fredericks, Fryers, Rose, Veljkovic, Bentaleb, Eriksen, Lamela, Lennon, Sandro, Adebayor
Tottenham faced an understrength Celtic side comprised of reserves in the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki. The strength of the Scottish team, or lack of it, was indicated by the numbers of the back of the players’ shirts, including 53, 54 and 57. With Nabil Bentaleb, the only one of Tottenham’s World Cup player to travel, the Spurs team was a mix and match of the players who had been on the tour in North America.
Mauricio Pochettino started with Michael Dawson and Younes Kaboul in central defence but that lasted only 20 minutes as Dawson limped off to be replaced by Zeki Fryers.
Celtic’s best moments of the fmatchcame in the opening 30 seconds and the final minute of the first half. They started with a quick attack and cross from the left which was headed out for a corner. From that point Tottenham took control in a low-key game and dominated only to allow Celtic to score in the 45th minute.
Tottenham threatened with a run by Andros Townsend but the ball into the box fell conveniently into the hands of the Celtic goalkeeper. Moments later Spurs went ahead in the 5th minute following another run by Townsend. This time he laid the ball back to the edge of the box and Harry Kane fired it into the roof of the net.
On 12 minutes, Roberto Soldado made it 2 – 0. Kane burst forward and played the ball to Lewis Holtby who took it on into the area. There he played it across to Soldado who saw his first shot saved by Craig Gordon at point-blank range. The rebound fell to the Spurs striker who made no mistake this time.
Immediately after the goal, a good cross by Townsend from the right was flicked across goal by Soldado and past the far post. Spurs dominated the game with good first time passing and link-up play.
Kane had a shot deflected over the bar and Celtic’s first attempt on goal came after 36 minutes, a weak shot from the edge of the area which was gathered safely by Friedel. Soldado then set up Kane but his lobbed shot was gathered by Gordon.
Then totally unexpected, Celtic scored. With time on the left, a shot was deflected off Naughton, forcing Friedel to save with his foot. The loose ball was played into the area and Fryers was out jumped in the centre with McGeouch having the last touch despite Friedel’s effort to keep it out.
In added time Spurs restored their two goal advantage when a cross by Townsend was cleared. Etienne Capoue collected the ball and played Holtby behind the defence to beat the goalkeeper.
Team: Friedel, Naughton (Fredericks), Fryers (Veljkovic), Kaboul, Rose, Lennon, Bentaleb, Capoue (Sandro), Lamela, Eriksen, Adebayor
Tottenham made six changes at half-time. Just what the Celtic side wanted to see – the introduction of Aaron Lennon, Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela and Emmanuel Adebayor.
It was a slow-paced second period with Spurs spraying the ball about but not troubling Celtic who were quicker to close them down. A cross from Danny Rose was headed down by Adebayor and gathered by Gordon. Bentaleb played a lovely ball forward to Adebayor who controlled it with one touch and laid it back to Eriksen.
A goal came in the 62nd minute when Lamela cut in from the right and shot from 20 yards, the ball taking a deflection leaving the goalkeeper going the wrong way.
With 20 minutes to play, Sandro replaced Capoue who had another impressive game in central midfield.
In the 81st minute, Adebayor was brought down as he turned on the edge of the box. Eriksen set up the free-kick and curled the ball over the wall and into the top corner of the net. He hasn’t lost his touch with free-kicks.
Three minutes later Celtic had a let off when Bentaleb played the ball to Lennon out wide on the left. His cross found Adebayor but his first time shot came off the post.
Emmanuel Adebayor made it on to the scoresheet in the 88th minute when Rose burst into the box and was brought down. Adebayor took the penalty, the goalkeeper dived to his right and the striker struck the ball in off the other post.
Celtic’s afternoon ended with ten men as Ambrose was sent off for a second foul on Adebayor.
A comfortable win for Tottenham in a game which turned out to be little more than a training ground exercise. The win will boost the players’ confidence and there were positives to take from the game with the passing and movement throughout the team. The defence, however, wasn’t tested so that remains for another day.